The Baltimore Ravens locked up Ray Rice earlier this week by giving the star running back a five-year, $40 million contract. With the deal done, the Ravens' front office can kick back and get ready for training camp, right?
Not so fast.
A source close to the situation told NFL.com that quarterback Joe Flacco is the next priority, and there is a "75 percent chance" a deal will be done before the start of training camp.
Flacco's original rookie contract is set to expire after the season, and the Ravens are working to sign him to a long-term deal. After being selected in the first round of the 2008 draft, Flacco already has established himself as the top signal-caller in the Ravens' brief history.
During his first four years, Flacco has thrown for 13,816 yards and 82 touchdowns while guiding the Ravens to at least one playoff victory each year. Last season, he came within a few plays of leading the Ravens to the Super Bowl.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome always has expressed a desire to take care of his own when it comes to free agency. In the past two years, in addition to Rice, Newsome has handed out lucrative long-term deals to homegrown stalwarts such as nose tackle Haloti Ngata, offensive guard Marshall Yanda and cornerback Lardarius Webb.
Flacco is on record as saying he believes he's the best quarterback in the NFL. It soon will be known if he'll be paid like it.
Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.